December 31, 2011 Subject:
Sir Francis Bacon
It seems as though many philosophers are prone to be men who live contradictory lives; Bacon is part of this group. He was born to a well-off and influential family, but as a second-son his prospects were slim unless he could lift himself by his own bootstraps. He was evidently disliked as a haughty social-climber and was routinely passed over for court assignments that ought to have been his by merit. However, he also betrayed good friends and supporters when they were in trouble - some to the point where they were executed with his actual assistance in court. Then came his own personal downfall at the hands of his enemies. In his spare time from all this - always short of money and begging for support from family and friends - he managed to become a pivotal philosopher of science and writer of essays that are still popular today.